American Rebel: Eastwood bio a disappointing read

While I remember the song from Rawhide I don’t recall ever having seen it. For me, Clint Eastwood’s career would have begun with A Fistful of Dollars (1964).

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Triad – Oscar, Jenkins and McCarthy

Of the various movies nominated in the various categories for the 2009 Academy Awards, I think the only one I’ve actually seen is The Visitor, starring Richard Jenkins who was up in the best actor category.

This isn’t unusual. I don’t recall any year where I had seen more than one or two of the touted films. This is because, with very few exceptions, I don’t see movies when they are in theatres (long story involving epilepsy) and I don’t like seeing films in the midst of the media hype for them (it tends to establish expectations about the merits of a film).

I saw The Visitor because it was released in theatres back in April and, later, was released on DVD. It’s a very good movie – the kind I like, though perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s what is often referred to as a “character driven” piece. It’s also a subdued film, not the kind to satisfy those who yearn for action, CGI and things blowing up.

Richard Jenkins was perfectly cast in the role and delivers a pitch-perfect performance. I really would have liked it if he had won the Oscar but no one, including me, expected that. Although, if he had, it would have knocked the socks off of the odds-makers.

One other thing … The Visitor was written and directed by Thomas McCarthy, who also gave us The Station Agent back around 2003. (That’s another wonderfully subdued, gentle film.)

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